Lastweek, I offered two first steps to being people who intentionally choose their life, as opposed to the kind of human default of passively letting life happen to us.
For most, though not all, of us, we have the choice. But it takes work. It’s easier to let life happen. It’s much harder to examine it and make changes. Like Fiyero says in Wicked, “Why invite stress in? Stop studying strife, and learn to live the unexamined life.” (At this point he’s not very heroic. So . . . not words of wisdom really.)
Steps #1 and #2 last week:
Figure out what my priorities are.
Ask god if they are his priorities. (adjust accordingly.)
This week, 3 and 4.
Here is the tough part. We can have great priorities—on paper. But when daily decisions come calling, do the choices we make display our three words? Do we choose love over anger? Do we choose to forego a bonus at work to have more time with our family? Do we choose to take our kid out of travel soccer so you can say yes to serving others?
When it comes down to those decisions, do we consciously let life overrun us with its status quo, or do we take the wheel and steer it where we have chosen for it to go?
I think this is where most of us fail. We mean well. But the tyranny of the urgent takes over. The law of physics that says whatever our current state of movement is, that’s where we’re likely to stay. It takes conscious effort to rebel and override the system. What do our actions, not our intentions, say about our priorities?
What will you do now? A plan is awesome. A plan without actual, concrete steps toward the goal is just a lovely Facebook meme.
For instance, suppose your three words are “give more freely.” (Totally making this up on the fly here.) One of the things you do to make that happen is sign up for a 6k run/walk to benefit clean water initiatives. (OK, not making that up. I’m doing that.) Then you realize you’re in such bad shape you breathe heavily walking to the mailbox.
|And smiley faces. Because . . .
you made it.
Next step: Walk a half mile tomorrow. Walk five minutes more each day. Not fast. Not perfectly. But the next real step is to start walking and then up that distance gradually. It’s simple. Achievable. Doable. And easy to gauge if it really gets done. See how much more likely that is to happen than a vague goal of “I want to do something to help other people”?
What do your actions says about your priorities? What’s your next step? I’d love to hear!